Praise the Lord!
How good it is to sing praises to our God;
for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.
2 The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
3 He heals the brokenhearted,
and binds up their wounds.
4 He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
5 Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.
6 The Lord lifts up the downtrodden;
he casts the wicked to the ground.
7 Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
make melody to our God on the lyre.
8 He covers the heavens with clouds,
prepares rain for the earth,
makes grass grow on the hills.
9 He gives to the animals their food,
and to the young ravens when they cry.
10 His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner;
11 but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love.
One of the beautiful things about the Psalms is that they remind us of why God is worthy of our constant praise and adoration. In Psalm 147, we are called to meditate on the Lord’s gracious and merciful character as displayed in His relationship with the people of God and all of creation. The Psalmist reminds us that God is always working for the good of His people: building them up, healing hearts, mending wounds, and bringing the outcast home. In the same way, God sustains the amazing universe He has created for us through such common miracles as sending the rains and providing food for the animals.
So how should we respond to the overwhelming love and care that the Lord has provided for us? Our primary response should, of course, be to worship and praise God for who He is and what He has done. Music is one of the deepest forms of human expression, and the psalmist confirms that “a song of praise is always fitting.” Along with our expressions of adoration, though, should come a desire and readiness to join God in the divine care for humanity and all of creation. Consider, today, where you might join God in lifting up the downtrodden and welcoming home those who feel far from the love of God and others. Also, look for opportunities to participate with God in “creation care” and preserving the beautiful world we have been given. As verse 11 tells us, those who honor God with their lives and place all of their hope in Him bring delight to the heart of God!